The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday restored a gag order against The Wire news website. The order was first issued after The Wire published a story in October 2017, which alleged that the revenues of a company owned by Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah had grown massively the year after Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power.
The order, issued in connection with a civil defamation case against the website, stops it from publishing any content “directly or indirectly” related to Jay Shah until the defamation case is disposed of.
Siddharth Varadarajan, the co-founding editor of The Wire, said they will challenge the verdict in the Supreme Court. “Going against several decades of jurisprudence, Gujarat High Court has restored gag order that trial court itself vacated after first granting Jay Amit Shah ex parte injunction against @thewire_in. We will challenge this verdict, which affects media freedom for all, in the Supreme Court,” Varadarajan said on Twitter.
In December 2017, an Ahmedabad civil court had set aside the interim injunction imposed on The Wire. The civil court had ruled that barring the use of the words “Narendra Modi becoming prime minister/elected prime minister” in relation to any debate on the original article on Jay Shah, The Wire is free to publish content on his business and public activities.